According to the latest weekly community data on the pandemic, there are currently 81 communities considered to be at the highest risk for the spread of the new coronavirus in Massachusetts, which no longer includes an updated COVID-19 risk assessment map by city.
In total, it is almost 20 times more than the 62 cities in last week’s report, which itself is almost double the number of red-colored communities last week.
In recent weeks, the number of Massachusetts cities in the red zone of the coronavirus has increased significantly, from 16 to 30 from 62 to now 81. Nevertheless, there are still fewer red-colored communities now than a month ago.
So what happened? Although overwhelming, it has suddenly changed how the state Department of Public Health measures the risk of the coronavirus spreading, reducing the number of red-colored cities from 121 to 16.
Other changes have also been made: A map showing all community risk levels in Massachusetts has been removed, which a department spokesman told NBC10 Boston because the map was no longer seen as useful as it once was now that coronavirus cases were going on. they have been seen in most communities.
Weekly data from the Department of Public Health includes a breakdown of the total number of coronavirus cases in each Massachusetts city, transmission rates, cluster data, and more.
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Friday’s city-by-city coronavirus report was released the day after Thanksgiving, but only contains information until November 25th. The week before the holiday, the U.S. Center for Disease Prevention and Control called on Americans not to travel, given the high prevalence of the coronavirus across the country.
The full report from Friday’s Public Health Department can be found here.
See city-specific mass coronavirus risk data
The following 81 communities have the highest risk levels as of Friday: Attleboro, Barnstable, Bellingham, Berkley, Blackstone, Boxford, Brockton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Chicopee, Clinton, Dartmouth, Dighton, Douglas, Dracut, East Longmeadow, Edgartown, Everett, Fairhaven, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Freetown Georgetown , Haverhill, Holyoke, Hopedale, Lancaster, Lawrence, Leicester, Lenox, Leominster, Littleton, Lowell, Ludlow, Lunenburg, Lynn, Malden, Marion, Mendon, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Milford, Millbury, Monson, New Bedford Norfolk, Oak Bluffs, Paxton, Peabody, Rehoboth, Revere, Rutland, Salisbury, Safe, Seekonk, Shirley, Somerset, Southbridge, Southwick, Springfield, Sterling, Sutton, Swansea, Taunton, Templeton, Tisbury, Tyngsborough, Upton, Upton Wenham, West Boylston, West Springfield, Westminster, Westport, Whitman, Winchendon, and Woburn.
Twenty-five new reds are on the list for these communities: Bellingham, Berkley, Boxford, Chelmsford, East Longmeadow, Gardner, Georgetown, Haverhill, Hopedale, Leicester, Lenox, Littleton, Mendon, Merrimac, Middleton, Millbury, Monson, Oak Bluffs, Paxton , Upton, Wenham, West Boylston, Westminster and Whitman.
Six communities dropped out of the red list: Abington, Acushnet, Nantucket, Northbridge, Rockland and Townsend.
The Ministry of Public Health no longer includes a community-level risk map in its weekly report. An official told NBC10 Boston that the map is no longer considered as useful as it once was, now that coronavirus cases are being reported in most communities.
According to the new indicators, in order to be eligible for the red category, communities with a population of less than 10,000 must have more than 25 cases. Medium-sized communities between 10,000 and 50,000 have an average of more than 10 cases per 100,000 people and a positive test rate of more than 5%. And for communities larger than 50,000, they have to turn to more than 10 cases per 100,000 people and have a positive test rate of more than 4%.
Previously, the state used the average number of cases detected per day for two weeks to determine if there was a high risk of coronavirus transmission in Massachusetts communities. Factors in the new list in population size and positive test rate.
Here you can read the full weekly report, which includes community percentage positivity, county and state level data, and more.
Massachusetts has changed which communities it considers to be at high risk for coronavirus transmission, which dropped from 121 to 16 on Friday. Officials say the change will allow more schools to hold personal lessons.
Changes to the Massachusetts hot spot map
Massachusetts has changed the coronavirus indicators in the weekly report over time, including three major transformations over the past three weeks.
Recent changes have resulted in a significant shift: the number of communities in the red zone has tapped from 121 to 16, changing the high-risk community. Officials said the adjustment brought Massachusetts more in line with risk levels in other states.
This week’s report also discarded the map that showed coronavirus data by city. He showed how high, medium, or low the risk of transmission is in the communities in the states, but officials say it is no longer very informative.
In the weeks leading up to this, officials provided information on COVID-19 clusters, both where the main clusters were identified – listed in the report – and trends between clusters.
Color-coded city-by-city data was introduced in August, and the Baker administration announced that the state will focus its strongest COVID mitigation efforts on cities in the red category. Communities can only move into Phase 3 of Massachusetts ’reopening plan announced in late September if they are not permanently in the red.
Prior to the introduction of these data, a positive COVID test rate for the previous 14 days was the standard for measuring hot spots. The Department of Public Health’s weekly report still includes this information, along with other metrics such as how many tests are performed locally and how many cases have been reported locally.
In some smaller cities in Massachusetts, it has been argued that their risk is only assessed on a per capita basis. It was said that when only a few thousand people live in a city, only the outbreak of a household can turn red according to the criteria at the time: 8 COVID-19 cases per 100 inhabitants in 100 cases.
Officials said two weeks ago that a recent change in the data has resolved these concerns.